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350 Days Later – Get me on the Court and I’m Trouble…

RunEatRalph

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Loopsters! This isn't running related, but those of you that know my backstory know that I've had to work this year to come back from a major injury. It's sorta running related, I guess. This means a lot to me so I thought I'd share it here. I've been sparing you from my weekly training recaps, but I'm Rehoboth ready!

Happy Friday to all, and to all a Happy Friday! It’s not quite time for a weekly training recap yet and I’m sure you’re all tired of those anyway, but I wanted to post something about how I felt yesterday. I was in a glass case of emotion, as Ron Burgundy might say.

giphy.gif I even have his mustache now. More on that later.

As you may or may not know, my Achilles tendon ruptured on December 14, 2017. You can read about that here, if you like.

It happened playing basketball when I probably shouldn’t have been playing basketball. I had run 2 marathons in 3 weeks and gave myself about 11 days rest (not enough). Both marathons went poorly. I was dealing with soreness in my left calf and had been for at least a month(I tore the right one, ironically).

It happened on a perfectly innocent play. I took a shot and knew right away that it wasn’t going in. I tried to cut left to get past my defender and get my own rebound. As I cut, I felt like the guy guarding me hit me in the back of the leg with a crowbar. I looked up for the foul haha.

I knew pretty quickly by the faces of the other men in the gym and by the pain and “weird softness” that was my right calf that this wasn’t good. That was it for me.

There was surgery 2 days later, followed by lots of time in a boot and lots of time in rehab and we fast forward to 5 months later. I started running again. I knew I’d run. I wasn’t afraid of that. Now basketball on the other hand…

I talked about playing again. Some people asked me, “Are you going to play basketball again?” Other people asked more like, “You’re not going to play basketball again, are you?” Big difference, right?

Well I’m stubborn, so yes I AM going to play basketball again, thank you very much. I changed to a team that I thought could accommodate my middle aged body by allowing me to play less. Last night, that didn’t happen haha.

Yesterday, I was pretty excited about getting back to a competitive sport, until I thought about it. The reality kicked in. My calf felt tight. I hadn’t been moving much laterally. I hadn’t jumped much. I got scared. I was sick to my stomach scared. I don’t like admitting it, but it’s the truth. I showed up to the court where 350 day before I was a changed man. Then we started playing.

The fear melted away. The joy returned. I was still a little nervous, since every move I made felt new to my repaired tendon. As somebody said to me after, “You didn’t play like you were scared.” I played more minutes than I’d intended. We lost 58-55 and I only scored 6 points, but I didn’t care. I’d never played a better game.

Lebron I felt this good, minus the money…and the championships.

I thought my first run back from the injury was the best feeling I’d have, but playing basketball again was that times a thousand. I feel more confident that I’ve felt since before the injury happened. I’m smarter now and more aware of the fact that I’m a 40 year old man, but I’m BACK!

Thanks so much for reading all of this. I do it mostly to get my feelings out and to be able to go back and remember things (both to learn from and appreciate), but it’s also great to hear from any of you with advice and encouragement. It’s nice to know somebody out there is paying attention. 🙂

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I retired from b-ball at 45 or so, when the injuries (none very serious) became regular enough that it messed with my running. There was never a long enough healthy period for marathon training. Priorities - running was mine, partly because I was always better at that than the other. You can pick your own and I won't judge you. I still miss the other sports sometimes, but life is all about trade-offs.

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All that confidence, wisdom, joy... gotta be the 'stache. 

That had to be pretty nerve wracking, glad it went well!

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8 hours ago, Dave said:

I retired from b-ball at 45 or so, when the injuries (none very serious) became regular enough that it messed with my running. There was never a long enough healthy period for marathon training. Priorities - running was mine, partly because I was always better at that than the other. You can pick your own and I won't judge you. I still miss the other sports sometimes, but life is all about trade-offs.

You’re right about the trade-off. I know I can’t have it all. 

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Totally get it - it's scary to go back to the thing that caused the injury in the first place. Congrats on confronting and overcoming it!

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